Chilean young people respond to needs
Tristan Taylor, Baptist Press
March 12, 2010

Chilean young people respond to needs

Chilean young people respond to needs
Tristan Taylor, Baptist Press
March 12, 2010

MOLINA, Chile — At Templo

Evangelico Bautista (Evangelical Baptist Temple), members of all ages are

turning their hearts toward fellow Chileans whose lives were upended in the

Feb. 27 earthquake.

BP photo

Bernardino Morales, center, a Chilean disaster relief assessment team member, prays with Estephan Espinoas, right, pastor of the Templo Evangelico Bautista in Molina, and Herman Osses, director of the Centro Misionero Jovenil youth program which is aiding a nearby community still reeling from the Feb. 27 earthquake.

“We pray for the people in all places who suffer,” a gray-haired woman prayed

tearfully, her voice cracking with emotion, in a small gathering of church

members in the city of Molina.

“People who don’t have food” were part of her petitions to God.

“People who don’t

have water. They have great need in this moment. Help the Chilenos, Lord.”

Putting such prayers into action, Templo Evangelico’s young people are leading

an effort to help other survivors in the hard-hit Molina area in central Chile.

Since the quake, 10 or more young people have been caring for the 60 people in

Los Lizamas about 10 miles outside of Molina. Los Lizamas sits between two

municipalities, neither of which has stepped forward to aid the community’s 12

families who have lived outside their collapsing homes and struggled with

limited resources since the earthquake, existing in a jurisdictional no man’s

land, receiving only sporadic, limited help.

Templo Evangelico’s young people have begun to stand in the gap, sending teams

to Los Lizamas to distribute food, water and diapers.

The church’s young people have nurtured relationships with the people there,

International Mission Board missionary Charles Clark noted while visiting

Molina as part of a Baptist quake-relief assessment team.

BP photo

A girl sits among her belongings in Los Lizamas, Chile, a community of 60 people hit hard by the Feb. 27 earthquake but now being aided by young people from Templo Evangelico Bautista (Evangelical Baptist Temple) in the nearby town of Molina.

“It’s wonderful to

see this many young people and the heart they have.”

They are part of Centro Misionero Jovenel (Center for Young Missionaries), a

two-year, on-the-job missions education program at Templo Evangelico and other

churches in Chile for training youth in their late teens and early 20s to

become missionaries to other parts of the country and into the 10/40

geographical band from North Africa to Southeast Asia where most of the world’s

unreached peoples live.

During training, they are living in a facility being constructed behind the

church which also serves as the base for mobilizing their ministry projects.

“This is basically a missionary center for young people,” said Clark, who

serves as the IMB’s strategy leader for the part of South America that includes


“This is new. They are still building it and trying to outfit it. This

earthquake has been further motivation for them.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Taylor is an International Mission Board writer in the

Americas. Donations to Southern Baptist Chilean relief may be made at

http://www.imb.org; click on the Chile quake response graphic.)